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For Release: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Frank Tamburrino Receives DEC's Annual Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence

Award Recognizes Outstanding Participation in DEC's Volunteer Hunter Safety Instruction Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded Frank Tamburrino of Dutchess County with its 4th annual DEC Region 3 Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence recognizing Tamburrino's outstanding participation in DEC's Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Program.

"Frank Tamburrino is a credit to the Sportsman Education Program here at DEC," said Region 3 Director Martin Brand. "Frank's dedication to passing on the tradition of sportsmanship and hunter safety to a new generation of hunters makes him the ideal recipient of Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence."

Photo of Frank Tamburrino

Tamburrino became a Volunteer Sportsman Education Instructor in 1995. All first-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must pass one or more courses before they can get a hunting license in New York State. Trained instructors certified by DEC teach safe and responsible outdoors practices while stressing the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation. Volunteer Instructors provide invaluable support to the implementation of New York State's Sportsman Education Program.

Tamburrino has been a Lead Instructor for more than 60 courses since 2000. He's contributed his time to assist and mentor other instructors so that they can become positive role models for the hunting community. He's known for voluntarily offering to go afield and mentor new hunters and encouraging them to join hunting clubs. He never turns down a request from students who have asked for instruction beyond what is offered in the Hunter Education Class. Frank is a natural coach, mentor and teacher and brings his enthusiasm for the sport to the Sportsman Education Program.

Though the number of hunters is declining in the state, the hunting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) is falling at a faster rate. Since the 1960s, the number of hunters has declined about 20 percent, while the incident rate has plunged more than 70 percent. The past five-year average is 5.3 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the 1960s. The 2015 New York hunting season was one of the safest on record, with the third lowest number of hunting-related incidents and the first year since the 1950s without a hunting-related shooting fatality. All of this is in part due to more than 60 years of dedicated efforts of more than 2,500 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors.

The award is named for Wayne Jones, the Sportsman Education Program Administrator for New York from 1992 - 2008. Wayne was instrumental to the program and during his tenure achieved many significant accomplishments for the Sportsman Education Program, not the least of which was his work on the international level to develop online educational tools and national standards for course contents.

The award recognizes active Volunteer Instructors who have demonstrated and contributed to the advancement of the Sportsman Education Programs through enhancing students understanding and enjoyment of our wildlife resources; creating awareness of responsibilities and instilling respect towards habitat, wildlife, non-hunters, hunters and themselves; and by enhancing public understanding and acceptance of hunting and trapping as legitimate public recreation activities and as proper wildlife management practices.

Instructors are nominated by their peers based on a set of criteria including: 1) achieving substantial improvements or innovations to program operations or classroom activities; 2) collaborating with other groups across traditional program boundaries to expand the audience of the Sportsman Education Program; 3) working above and beyond required job descriptions, exceeding expectations and achieving noteworthy results in and accelerated or impressive timeline; and 4) applying or developing innovative techniques or approaches that demonstrate best practices and/or serve as a model to inspire others to outstanding achievement.

Hunting safety is a priority for the Gov. Andrew Cuomo and is part of the New York is Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, an effort that relies on the work and dedication of our Volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors.

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  • Wendy Rosenbach
    DEC Region 3
    21 South Putt Corners Road
    New Paltz, NY 12561
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